Semester in Dialogue is Back!

May 05, 2023

The Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue is excited to announce that Semester in Dialogue is back for the Fall of 2023! 

After a brief pause, we have redesigned our curriculum and are excited to bring back another semester of conversation that centers around communities, reciprocal learning and inner reflection and exploration. Each semester brings about a new theme and topics for discussion, and this Fall we’ll be exploring: The Future of Healthcare. 

The COVID-19 pandemic and connected challenges like the toxic drug crisis and inflation have left our health care system broken. In the Fall 2023 Semester in Dialogue, current challenges will be explored along with ideas for the future. In Canada, the policies that drive health care were developed for the world we lived in more than 50 years ago when health care was mostly complicated and not as complex as it is today. 

Many forces are currently at play including the advent of new technologies, a growing workforce shortage, an aging population and the effects of climate change on health. How can health care systems evolve to keep up? What needs to happen? How should we train health care workers to be better prepared? Students participating in the Semester in Dialogue can expect to be immersed in dialogue and complex systems thinking, while practicing active listening, self-reflection and collaboration in daily workshops, dialogues with invited guests and working on projects in the community. 

So, what’s different for Semester in Dialogue this time around? We’re glad you asked! The Semester in Dialogue will be held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 am to 4 pm PST instead of the previous Monday to Friday classes. It will be a 10-credit course, consisting of 2 courses (DIAL 390, 391) and will be a mostly in-person (occasionally online) program that requires a student’s full commitment three days per week. 

This semester will be taught by Dr. Diane Finegood, a Professor at SFU since 1997 and a Fellow at the Centre for Dialogue since 2017 when she started teaching in the Semester in Dialogue. Her teaching in the Semester was acknowledged with the 2022 SFU Excellence in Teaching Award for Community Engaged and Experiential Learning.  She has an extensive background in health care and public health and a passion for changing the way we think about and tackle complex problems. 

SFU's Semester in Dialogue is designed to inspire students with a sense of civic responsibility and encourage their passion for improving society. The Semester in Dialogue emphasizes three major educational approaches: dialogue-based communication, experiential education and community engagement. No two Semesters in Dialogue are the same, with each semester offering a unique topic and experience that bridges the classroom with the community and creates space for students to reflect on what they are doing and why it matters. 

Extensive student feedback indicates that alumni leave the program with new understandings of leadership, better communication skills and a renewed sense of who they want to be in the world. Through hosting public dialogues and engaging with experts and community leaders, students develop networks of contacts and discover new interests and opportunities.

We’re so excited for the reboot of Semester in Dialogue this fall, and can’t wait to welcome a new cohort of students. This semester will be starting in September 2023, and will be happening on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 am to 4 pm PST at SFU Harbour Centre. 

To find out more about our upcoming Fall 2023 Semester in Dialogue: The Future of Healthcare and how to apply, go here

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